The first event we finally set out as competitors was Cookstown, Northern Ireland's last weekend in April. It is almost a tradition to come to the first races without previous training, but at least the Indian had a pretty decent portion of miles on public roads.
Right after arriving on Thursday evening to Dublin, we went to our "base", home to the boss of the Das Trans team, so that mechanic Aleš Sýkora could prepare the bikes for the next day. There was a lot of work to do, so the two bikes were somehow ready, but the third was a bare frame, so on Thursday he managed to put the whole bike up so that it worked. In the morning we went to Cookstown, where we already had ready the caravan and tents.
After scrutinery the two Yamah R6s into Senior Support and Supersport, we went over the administrative checks and then waited for our "five minutes of fame". That's what I call qualifying, which is only five laps.
The first one was me, the weather changed for five minutes, so the road was half dry and half wet. I don't like this lottery, so I kept wet tires, even though the track was OK. As soon as we got out, I found out that quickshifter wasn't working. We didn't even finish the first lap and marshalls stopped us with the red flag. I was not surprised, because it started raining in the second part of the circuit and it was clear to me that enough people on dry tires could easily overshoot it. Once the fallen motorbike was cleared from the finish line, the training was restarted. I haven't sat on the 600cc for a long time because the Ulster Grand Prix and the Manx Grand Prix were my last two races last August on supertwin, so I was really afraid that I can easily screw up at the beginning of the year. Of course, in comparison to the twin, the 600cc are flying, so I managed to overshoot the speed in the second round and I was about to fly into the open gate before one corner, where the marshals were already running sideways. That was the situation that I started to laugh at the same moment, and I managed to turn the bike on the last meters. In qualification I was eighteenth, which was not a miracle, but at least I did not cross the gate.
When Indi went out for his practice, he found out at the start that he had a handlebars bit far. Before Aleš managed to run for the tools, the riders had to go on the track, so the Indian had go with it anyway. As soon as he came back, Ales tells him "so you don't mind going on a flat tire, you don't mind going on a broken chassis, but you have problems with the handlebars?" And the Indian is calmly answering "yeah ... but unlike all that, I SEE HANDLEBARS!".
So in Supersport, Michal went seventeen after the few laps.
Next day in the morning we did not seem much like the sounds behind the window, and when we pulled the curtain out, it was clear to us that maybe no racing today.
The races were a bit delayed, but in the end everything went OK. First I joined Senior Support. We had two warmup laps to get used to the conditions. The start was really good for the race for six laps, but I made it to the first corner because we were four next to each other, so I stayed on third. That was a mistake, because then the next two rounds "annoyed me" and it took me while to overtake them again. The conditions were really cruel and I appreciated a lot of gloves from Psí Hubík with a wiper on the left hand. It was a pity I wasn't a little bit more busy, or I wasn't going for more bikes, because I was able to run times that would be enough for the top ten, but it was finally 16th.
Michal started from seventeenth place and he also managed good start. He had two riders around him for a while, but he soon shook them off, then began to catch up with the group in front of him. I waited for him to appear in the last lap, but the red flags were out, so the race was stopped. Fortunately, Indian came to the paddock and with his eyes up on his head he showed us how his left footboard was missing and how he had to gearing by his hand, so the red flag was just in time. In addition, because of the wind blowing large bales on the track directly in front of the Indi and other riders in the way. However, Indi was quite happy with the 13th place and the team leader said:
"Bikes Out, Bikes In, Im Happy!"
Few words after race in czech and english
Indi after race